Compiled originally in 1934, Mr. Tucker’s transcription of marriage bonds for the city of Norfolk, Virginia is the most complete collection of these records we know of and one of the most painstakingly assembled. The core of the volume consists of 3,600 marriage bonds, arranged in chronological order, as found in the Norfolk Borough Court House. Typically, the bonds give the full names of the bride and groom and their securities (sometimes family members). All persons named in the bonds are indexed at the back of the book. Mr. Tucker went to the extra length of establishing the correct spellings of all surnames and the betrotheds’ actual fact of marriage by consulting the ministers’ returns corresponding to the period of the bonds that are on file in the Norfolk Corporation Court. In perhaps a third of the entries, the bonds are annotated with notes from the returns disclosing, for example, the name of the bride’s father–who often was the security– the name of the officiating minister, the church where the ceremony was performed, and so on.
It was during his examination of the ministers’ returns that the author discovered the early Norfolk City burial lists and baptismal lists of the Rev. Robert S. Symes of Christ Protestant Episcopal Church, 1809-1816. These two lists, naming 500 parents and children with the date of baptism, and 300 decedents with their dates of death, respectively, are also included in the body of the work.